I got my first taste of this creamy caramel in Chile. Knowing I couldn't buy it where I live in the United States, I practiced with trial and error until I found this lovely recipe. Use as a spread on toast or rolls, add to brownie recipes, sandwich between sugar cookies, stir into coffee, or find your own way to enjoy this creamy Latin American caramel!


Recipe Summary

5 mins
1 hr 25 mins
1 hr 30 mins
50 servings


Original recipe yields 50 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Combine milk, sugar, sweetener, and vanilla in the biggest pot you have. Place over medium heat and stir until sugar dissolves. Increase heat and bring to a rolling boil.

  • As soon as it boils, combine water and baking soda in a small bowl and stir to dissolve; don't worry if it doesn't dissolve completely.

  • Remove pot from the stove and place in the sink. Add baking soda mixture and stir vigorously as milk will expand rapidly-be prepared! When the mixture returns to its original volume, return the pot to the stove and bring to a very brisk simmer. It may concern you that it will scorch, but it should be practically boiling. Cook, checking and stirring occasionally, until it turns a deep golden brown, about 1 hour.

  • After the mixture has turned dark caramel in color, check it more frequently. The longer you cook it after the color change, the thicker it will be. For a consistency similar to caramel, cook for another 15 minutes. For a thicker, spreadable consistency, cook for another 20 to 25 minutes. For a candy-like consistency, cook it even longer. Just remember that it will thicken up tremendously after cooling.

  • Once you're ready, pour the caramel into a plastic container with a lid, or pour into jars. It can be kept without refrigeration, but with refrigeration it is good for many weeks.

Cook's Note:

You can use white sugar for the Splenda(R), if desired.

Nutrition Facts

110 calories; protein 2.5g; carbohydrates 19.7g; fat 2.5g; cholesterol 7.8mg; sodium 84.7mg. Full Nutrition


Rating: 4 stars
5.30.21 I scaled this recipe down to using 1 pint of milk, and when I took it off the heat, it probably was reduced in volume 75%, so plan accordingly. I found whisking rather than stirring worked better, and it appeared to have arrived at the consistency I wanted at 40 minutes. It did firm up substantially when cooled, however, I wanted to use it as a drizzle on some brownies, so allow for that in your timing. It does taste awesome, but the texture of it is not what I’m used to with dulce de leche, and maybe this shouldn’t be. Just not as creamy and a bit on the grainy side. Honestly, I think I’ll just stick with canned dulce de leche, but thanks for sharing your recipe. Read More